Interview: Mehmet Nalbantoğlu

What factors are driving demand for IT services and infrastructure in the Turkish market?

MEHMET NALBANTOĞLU: Today Turkish companies, like their international counterparts, face several challenges such as rising competition, elevated productivity expectations and a heightened focus on customer service. First of all, there has been an overall change in the way IT is perceived among businesses. Instead of being seen as a costly one-time expenditure, IT is now seen as an investment in an evolving business tool. Second, the number of companies engaging IT services providers to help them harness the power of trending technologies, such as the cloud, mobile platforms, big data and social media is growing. Third, complex internal IT systems are being transformed into more standard ones that can be outsourced to specialists, freeing up more resources for core operations. Fourth, there has been an increase in demand for customisable, more value-added services from IT service providers.

Lastly, acceleration in e-service projects in the public sector and the need for compliance with new regulations has helped drive market growth in Turkey.

Here, I would like to add some notes about the Turkish IT market, which had a 10% growth rate in the 2013/14 fiscal year. Market research predicts that in 2015, IT will continue its growth with an increasing acceleration through enhancements in data, cloud computing and value-added services. Services and devices capable of meeting customer demand in these areas will also gain importance.

How would consolidation benefit IT providers?

NALBANTOĞLU: Consolidation would have positive effects: it would help to augment the diversification of services offered by IT service providers, leading to more customised solutions to meet diverse customer expectations and needs. The resulting skills specialisation would allow providers to meet customer demand in a more efficient and rapid manner. Consolidation would also help to develop consultancy and solution delivery processes, increase the number of projects in systems integration and help providers improve their competence in developing end-to-end solutions.

What steps have IT service providers taken to address customer concerns over data security?

NALBANTOĞLU: They have enhanced their competence to attain certifications, abide by all government regulations in this space and focus on implementing global standards into their business processes. In addition, providers have broadened their knowledge of the increasing number of security threats, have informed their customers about possible attack areas and have increased their portfolio of security solutions and technologies to combat the risks. Furthermore, they have developed different business models for effectively managing and offering security as a service.

What sectors stand to gain the most from the increased adoption of IT solutions?

NALBANTOĞLU: Despite the fact that the financial services industry is the largest consumer of IT services, telecoms and the public sector are among the industries to gain the most from increased adoption of IT solutions. Due to the challenging competitive structure, financial corporations tend to differentiate their communication and service channels by utilising technology to meet competitive goals. Data centre operations necessitate continuous modernisation, posing substantial opportunities for IT providers. Big data analytics, data mining, business intelligence and risk analysis tools are now being used extensively, and the financial sector is leading other industries in this. The telecoms industry is also undergoing a big transformation. They are in need of support from IT companies in developing and sustaining the demand to expand their current telecommunication services, while also investing in cloud-based services and applications. The public sector is actively engaged in e-service projects and initiatives, providing opportunities for IT providers.